Intel ships NAS appliance
Earlier this month, Intel introduced a low-cost network-attached appliance, which makes sharing files and increasing storage capacity easy for small businesses and workgroups. Priced in the $1,000-$1,500 range, the InBusiness Storage Station automates backup and provides 12-24GB of supplemental storage without taking down or buying more servers or arrays.
"We`re providing an affordable way for users to share files, so they can collaborate files and backup critical PC files easily and automatically," says Barbara Jones, an Intel product marketing manager in Hillsboro, OR.
Available in 12GB and 24GB models, Storage Station supports Windows 95, 98, and NT clients, as well as TCP/IP and SMB protocols. Intel`s Second Copy 97 is bundled for automated data backup.
One beta user--Schmidt, Griffiths, Smith & Co., in Ogden UT--found the Storage Station useful when it needed additional file space to update and redesign client accounting systems. For example, rather than stringing 2GB Jaz drives or 650MB CD-R discs together, the accounting and financial IT consulting firm uses the Storage Station to reformat a client`s 3GB database.
According to IS director Steve Olson, the firm cannot afford to bog down its own network servers or suddenly run out of disk space. "We need file space like crazy. It doesn`t have to be RAID, because we don`t need data integrity in this case. We just pop this in and it`s a quick, easy solution," says Olson.
Separately, Intel has made an equity investment in Crossroads Systems, a storage router manufacturer in Austin, TX. Crossroads currently makes Fibre Channel-to-SCSI routers, and will use Intel`s cash infusion to develop routers for Intel`s Next Generation I/O (NGIO) serial fabric interconnect. Those routers will link host-based NGIO interfaces with interconnects such as SCSI, Fibre Channel and, possibly, Gigabit Ethernet. Intel expects to produce prototypes of NGIO interconnects by the end of the year.
"In SANs [storage area networks], there will be a lot of legacy devices, so you`ll continue to need storage routers," says Dale Quisenberry, founder and vice president at Crossroads.
Intel`s investment marks Crossroads` fourth round of equity investment, which totals $18.3 million. Earlier investors included Austin Ventures, ADIC, and Hewlett-Packard.